By Jasjit Singh, Staff Writer
Add another mistake to the long list of Detroit Lions. The Lions just gave their franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford a 5-year, 135 million extension; making him the highest paid NFL player in history. To be fair Stafford is in a class of good quarterbacks and might even be classified by some as elite. He has started 96 straight games for the Lions and led the NFL last season with eight game winning drives in the 4th quarter or overtime. He put up decent stats last year with 4327 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Despite all of this however he doesn’t deserve to be the highest paid quarterback, let alone the highest paid player.
In Stafford’s 8-years in the league he has only taken Detroit to the Playoffs three times, and has lost all three of their playoff games. Their last playoff game against Dallas in 2016 he only put up 205 passing yards with no touchdowns. I would expect a player to have at least some form of playoff success before being offered a 100 million plus contract. The worse part about this whole situation is that for most his career Stafford was throwing to a top five of all time receiver in Calvin Johnson. Matthew Stafford is one of those good in the regular season quarterbacks who can’t produce in the postseason, just like Tony Romo.
When you look at the NFL there are so many other players that outrank Matthew Stafford but are making less money, and it’s quite baffling. If we just stay in the quarterback position we are looking at guys like Brady, Ryan, Roethlisberger, and Rodgers all who are better quarterbacks than Stafford. They are all making less money than Stafford. If we look at the just the next three highest Quarterbacks, we have Derek Carr, Andrew Luck, and Drew Brees. Not much I can say about Luck after two injury ridden years, but Drew Brees is a Super Bowl winning future Hall of Famer who has credentials to back up his pay checks. Carr just like Brees has the credentials to back up his 25 million a year salary. In just one year Carr completely turned the Raiders around, leading them to a 12-3 record before getting injured and sitting out their last games including Oakland’s Wild Card against the Texans.
I think it’s great that the Lions have a direction that they want to go in, but I just don’t think they should have paid that much money for a middle of the pack Quarterback. For all I know though this might end up being the best move in their franchise’s history, we won’t know for another 5 years, but one thing I do know for sure now is with Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers coming up on contract years Stafford won’t be the highest paid player for much longer.